College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Between Shakespeare Theatre Company Performances, Actress Sinclair Daniel '15 Shares Her Story, Inspiration, and Advice with US Students
Actress Sinclair Daniel '15 Visits US 1.20

Sinclair Daniel '15 just graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts last spring, and her acting career is already soaring—literally. She's currently starring as the high-flying Wendy in the Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Peter Pan and Wendy, a "woke," feminist twist on the classic tale.

In between her performances, auditions, and all the other things on her very full plate, Daniel took time on Thurs., Jan. 9 to speak with Upper School students about her experiences and share advice with Holton performers.

Like many in her audience, Daniel gained early stage experience in Holton and Landon's theaters. (She attended Holton for grades 7-10, when her family moved out of the area). A favorite production was Anything Goes—"I still sing the songs like twice a week," she laughed.

When looking at colleges and careers, Daniel says, "I always knew that theater was the thing I wanted to do." At NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, she built her network, her craft, and her range, studying everything from theater to TV and film, from Shakespeare to experimental theater.

Daniel said her teachers, skilled and caring but also demanding and sometimes brutally honest, really helped prepare her for real-world auditions. "Rejection is part of it," she said. "The earlier you can realize it's not personal, the better."

A friend once told her a useful stat: You get one callback for every 60 auditions. "I don't know if it's true," Daniel said, "but it helps me put things into perspective... Maybe this is only audition number nine and it's fine, and by time I've gotten to audition 30, I don't even think about it because it's just routine."

Landing a gig, she said, is "preparation meets opportunity"—an intersection at which she found herself just a few months after graduating from college. An actor had just dropped out of the Shakespeare Theatre's upcoming production, and a former acting agent who was a fan of Daniel's work helped her land an audition.

The actress loves the D.C.-based show and is immensely grateful for the opportunity. "The show has a lot of people like me in it...we're kind of in the same in-between phase, and we're just having a lot of fun."

The production closes this Sunday and Daniel has been busy exploring what might come next. She's not sure of any details yet, but she's confident that other doors will open.

Her advice for Holton's performers? "If you want to do theater, do theater. Just audition... If you stay with it long enough, I firmly believe something will happen."

Below: Sinclair Daniel '15 in the 2012 Holton/Landon production of Pride and Prejudice (left) and the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Peter Pan and Wendy, closing Sunday (right).

Actress Sinclair Daniel '15 Then and Now